Bush doubts leaker will be ID'd

Oct. 7, 2003 at 4:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 (UPI) -- President Bush Tuesday indicated he doubts the Justice Department will be able to determine who leaked the name of a CIA operative to columnist Bob Novak.

There was a 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline forWhite House staffers to turn over all documents relating to former Ambassador Joseph Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame, a CIA undercover agent.

Wilson alleges his wife was "outed" because of administration displeasure over his findings that Iraq did not try to buy uranium from Niger.

"You tell me, how many sources have you had that's leaked information that you've exposed or have been exposed?" Bush asked reporters during a short question-and-answer session at the White House. "Probably none. I mean this town is a -- is a town full of people who like to leak information."

Novak identified his source only as a "senior administration official."

"Now, this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials," Bush said. "I don't have any idea" who leaked the information.

White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card issued a memo Tuesday, reminding staff to comply with the Justice Department directive.

"The President has made clear how important it is to him that everyone should comply with this request," Card wrote.

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